Due to an extensive vaccination effort that is still going strong, polio in the United States has all but disappeared since the late 1970s. There are two general types of polio vaccine. However, in the United States, only the inactivated polio vaccine is used. It contains no live poliovirus, unlike the oral vaccine, which contains live but weakened poliovirus.
The inactive polio vaccine, often called IPV, is given by injection. It is typically given as a series of four shots in children between the ages of two months and four to six years. However, certain adults, such as those who were not vaccinated as children, may also be given the vaccine.
Most people are able to receive the vaccine without any problem. However, as with any drug, side effects are possible. In clinical studies, common reactions included:
- Tenderness at the injection site
(To learn more about these vaccines, including statistics on their effectiveness, click Polio Vaccine.)